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You Brought Forward Wrong Witnesses, Tribunal Tells Atiku

mer, 2019-09-11 21:13

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has told the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 23, 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, that he failed to call appropriate witnesses to testify in his petition challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the poll.

The panel said that Atiku failed to call relevant witnesses, who could have enriched and added value to his petition.

The tribunal said that the former Vice President of Nigeria called ward collation agents instead of polling units agents and that the panel could not rely on the account of hearsay, which formed the fulcrum of the statement of the witnesses he brought forward.

On allegations of corrupt practices, non-compliance with electoral act, manipulation of ballot boxes and card readers by the first and second respondents, the tribunal noted that the petitioner had a duty to prove all the claims because they were criminal in nature.

Chairman of the tribunal, Mohammed Garba, dismissed the allegation that the Independent National Electoral Commission and All Progressives Congress connived with the military authorities and other security agents to manipulate and influence the outcome of the election in favour of President Buhari. 

He said that the allegations of misconduct by the military linking them to corrupt practices and non-compliance with electoral act could not be substantiated.

Garba also held that the petitioner could not bring forward anybody among those he claimed were arrested to testify.

The panel added that the evidence available before it could not support that claim and make it to invalidate the presidential election.

The panel therefore dismissed the petition and affirmed President Buhari’s victory at the poll.

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Tribunal Upholds Victory Of Two PDP Lawmakers In Akwa Ibom

mer, 2019-09-11 20:57

The electoral victory of two Nigerian lawmakers, who ran under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party was upheld on Wednesday by National and State House of Assembly election petitions tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Aniekan Umanah, representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, and Patrick Ifon representative for the Eket/Esit Eket/Ibeno/Onna Federal Constituency, were both affirmed as winners of their respective elections by the panel.

The tribunal dismissed the petition of Emmanuel Ekon of the All Progressives Congress against Umanah just as it dismissed same written against Ifon.

The tribunal held that the evidence of all 10 witnesses of the petitioners were insufficient to prove substantial non-compliance, which are the only grounds that could lead the court to decide in favour of the petitioner.

The tribunal discountenanced all the augments against the elections that produced the two lawmakers and affirmed their individual victories. 

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Suspected ABU Students’ Kidnappers, Armed Robbers Paraded By Police

mer, 2019-09-11 20:38

The Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday paraded 58 suspects for their alleged involvement in kidnapping, armed robbery, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons and other crimes.

Out of the 58 suspects, 57 were male while one was a female from Cameroon.

The police displayed 18 AK47 rifles, 1233 rounds of AK47 ammunition, nine pump action, five single barrel riffle, one automatic pistol, one hand grenade, 53 live cartridges and stolen vehicles.

Force spokesperson, DCP Frank Mba, paraded the suspects at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Headquarter in Abuja.

Among the paraded suspects were the gang responsible for the kidnap of students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and a House of Representatives member from Sokoto State.

They confessed to buying military uniforms at the rate of N15, 000 from persons selling used clothes in Kaduna State.

The gang said that they collected N5.5m ransom before they freed their victims.

The hoodlums responsible for the kidnap of Turkish nationals in Kwara State were also paraded.

They said N20m was demanded as ransom for the Turkish citizens but that nothing was paid before their rescue.

Mba said the suspects will be charged to court upon the completion of investigation into the matter.

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BREAKING: Tribunal Dismisses Atiku's Petition Challenging Buhari’s Victory

mer, 2019-09-11 19:27

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari during the February 23 election.

The tribunal dismissed Atiku’s petition for not being able to prove satisfactorily all the allegations he brought before the panel.

Delivering the judgement in Abuja on Wednesday, the five-man panel led by Justice Mohammed Garba, dismissed the petition in its entirety.

More to follow…

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N537m Debt: Court Discharges Order Against Donald Duke After Settlement With AMCON

mer, 2019-09-11 19:15

The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has discharged the order granted to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to take over the property of former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke.

AMCON and the United Bank for Africa had secured an ex-parte order to take over the former governor's property over the debt of N500m.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo on Wednesday discharged the order based on the settlement terms filed and moved by AMCON's legal team.

Juliet Benson told the court that Duke had fulfilled the terms of the settlement and both parties had agreed to it.

She then urged the court to adopt the terms of settlement as the judgment of court.

Counsel to Duke, Edoigiawerie uyi, confirmed that his client had shown good faith by making payment of over N350m, which the parties all agreed to.

Justice Oweibo, in his short ruling, granted the terms of the settlement and entered it as full and final judgment, adding that all orders in the case stands discharged.

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Professor Of Islamic Law Arrested For Criticising Saudi Arabia’s Entertainment Policies

mer, 2019-09-11 19:11

Al Jazeera

A professor of Islamic Law at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Omar al-Muqbil, has been arrested and detained after he criticised the policies of the General Entertainment Authority as a threat to the kingdom’s culture. 

A group, Prisoners of Conscience, made Muabil’s detention known in a post on Twitter. 

“This is a continuation of the arbitrary arrests that have taken place in the kingdom for the past two years, which are aimed at leading scholars, sheikhs and other free thinkers,” the group was quoted as saying by Al-Jazeera.

In recent times, the GEA had hosted a number of music stars including Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Sean Paul in an attempt to boost the image of Saudi Arabia globally.

Last year, the authority announced plans to invest $64bn in the entertainment sector during the next decade as part of a programme of social and economic reforms driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

The reforms stem partly from an economic motive to increase domestic spending on entertainment and attract Western investment to offset the effect of a slump in the price of oil that began in 2014.

Other measures include ending decades-long ban on women driving, cinemas and mixed-gender concerts.

The heavyweight boxing rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz taking place in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia, on December 7, is also seen as part of that drive to open up the kingdom more to the outside world. 

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El-Rufai Threatens Kaduna Residents Over Social Media Posts

mer, 2019-09-11 19:03

Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, has threatened Kaduna residents of severe punishment if they post items disagreeing with the policies of his government on the social media.

In May 2019, SaharaReportersexclusively reported how El-Rufai ordered the arrest and detention of journalist and vocal critic of the Kaduna State Government, Stephen Kefas, for re-posting a SaharaReportersstory on the ‘Kajuru 9 elders’.

In a post on Twitter on Wednesday, the governor gave the warning to Kaduna residents after the announcement of a partnership with Danish company Arla Foods to provide jobs in the state was mocked by many.

El-rufai, through his official Twitter handle @elrufai said, “Calling a person (including @elrufai) a liar in itself is not a crime in Kaduna State. 

“Just post some fake pictures, videos or words that amount to injurious falsehood leading to disruption of our state’s peaceful coexistence and you will have our undivided attention. Go on, try!”

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Trump Vows To Hit Taliban ‘Harder’ As America Remembers Victims Of 9/11

mer, 2019-09-11 19:01

President of the United States, Donald Trump, has said that the country would hit the Taliban and other terror organisations in the world ‘harder’ than they ever imagined for the pains they caused American families on September 11, 2001 when deadly attacks were launched in the country.

Trump made the statement on Wednesday during a ceremony to mark the 18th anniversary of the incident described as one of the deadliest terrorist attack in history.

He said that over “the last four days” US forces have “hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue”.

The US President said that the onslaught on the terror group was ordered after he cancelled secret peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend in retaliation for a bomb attack that killed one American soldier last week.

The September 11, 2001 tragedy was a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others and caused at least $10bn in infrastructure and property damage, according to wikipedia. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the incident.

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JUST IN: Tribunal Dismisses Atiku's Claim On Usage Of Central Server By INEC

mer, 2019-09-11 18:19

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has said that the claim by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, that the Independent National Electoral Commission used a central server for the collation and transmission of 2019 election results was false.

The tribunal said that the petitioner failed to establish the claim of electronic transmission and collation of election results from different levels in his petition and that the evidence submitted by the petitioner to substantiate the allegation could not be relied upon.

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Sowore And Nigeria's Growing List Of Political Prisoners

mer, 2019-09-11 18:16

Since assuming office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari's administration has arrested and detained journalists, religious leaders, activists and others that have spoken up against his government.

In May 2019, Amnesty International said that the human rights situation in Nigeria was currently characterised, by serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment.

SaharaReporters compiles a list of some known political prisoners held arbitrarily by the Nigerian Government.

Omoyele Sowore

The human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner was arrested by the Department of State Services for planning nationwide protests tagged #RevolutionNowto express displeasure against bad governance in Nigeria. He has been detained arbitrarily for 40 days.

Abubakar Idris (Dadiyata)

Dadiyata, who is popular on Twitterfor his vocal criticism of the Kano State Government was seized from his home in Kaduna and has since been kept incommunicado.

Stephen Kefas

Kefas was arrested under the guise of questioning him in Port Harcourt, Rivers State but was soon transferred to Kaduna on the orders of Governor Nasir el-rufai for reposting a Facebook article by SaharaReportersexposing the detention of the "Kajuru 9" elders. He has been held for more than three months.

Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

El-Zakzaky is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. He has been in custody of the Nigerian Government since July 2014 despite court orders for his release.

Agba Jalingo

The journalist was arrested by the Nigerian Police Force in August 2019 and has been charged for "treason and involvement with the #RevolutionNowprotests". 

Jalingo has said the real reason he is being held is exposing corruption by the governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.

Olawale Adebayo (Mandate)

Popularly called Mandate, Olawale a young activist, who joined the #RevolutionNowprotest in Osogbo, Osun State, was arrested by the Department of State Services in August and has since been held incommunicado.

Jones Abiri

Abiri is a journalist, who was re-arrested after a two-year detention without charge by the DSS. He remains in detention.

George Uboh

A whistle-blower, who exposed financial impropriety in the Central Bank of Nigeria was arrested by the Nigerian Government and has been detained without charge since his arrest.

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Nigerian Woman Pretending To Be Canadian Embassy Staff Defrauds Indian Job Seeker

mer, 2019-09-11 18:10

A Nigerian woman was on Tuesday arrested in Bangalore, India, for allegedly posing as a Canadian Embassy official and defrauding a jobseeker.

Dacosta Modupeoluwa Oriyomi, 27, who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State, had got in touch with the Indian resident in Baguiati and pretended to be an official of the Canadian Embassy after the victim uploaded his resume on various job portals two years ago.

Oriyomi offered to help the man get a job and settle down in Canada with his family.

Kunal Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police, said preliminary investigations revealed that the woman had been running the racket for several years.

“She has duped many young job-seekers,” he told Telegraph India.

All emails sent by Oriyomi bore an image of the Canadian flag and were marked Government of Canada, the commissionerate officer said.

The victim Oriyomi exchanged several emails before the latter informed the complainant that his resume had been selected by the official placement agency of the Canadian Government and that he had been offered a lucrative job there.

Oriyomi asked the man to send him another series of emails, asking him to deposit money as immigration charges. She also emailed him a bank account number.

“The man transferred around Rs 5 lakh to the bank account,” he said.

Another mail popped up in the victim’s inbox around 10 days later, asking him to deposit Rs 2.5 lakh as embassy charges, visa-processing fees, work permit application, and travel expenses in another bank account.

“He deposited the money once again and the woman mailed him saying he would receive his flight tickets within 15 days,” the officer said.

Oriyomi sent the man a fake appointment letter with a joining date in January, the officer said.

A few days later, the man received another mail asking him to deposit Rs 5 lakh as travel and accommodation expenses. But he told Oriyomi that he had run out of money.

The mails stopped coming and all correspondence to Oriyomi went unanswered.

The victim lodged a complaint with Salt Lake cybercrime police station in February last year.

Oriyomi had masked the IP address from where the mails had been sent using special software that rerouted it to servers in other countries, police said.

“We tracked the bank account numbers to which money had been sent and managed to zero in on her location. A team was sent to Bangalore and she was arrested,” the officer said.

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BREAKING: South African Authorities Delay Evacuation Of Nigerians

mer, 2019-09-11 17:26

The planned evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa has been delayed by at least six hours by authorities in that country.

The returnees were initially billed to arrive Nigeria at 2:00pm on Wednesday but the time was shifted to either 6 or 8:00pm.

An Air Peace Boeing 747 aircraft had in the evening of Tuesday departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, for the evacuation of 317 Nigerians in the first batch but information gathered by our correspondent indicated that the South African Immigration Services delayed the flight due to profiling.

As at the time of filing this report, it was not clear if the Nigerians had departed the former apartheid nation.

Chairman of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told journalists at the Lagos Airport that South African Immigration Services had insisted on conducting another round of documentation on the returnees. See Also Travel Air Peace Commences Evacuation of Nigerians From South Africa 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

She said the situation had led to the delay in the take-off of the aircraft billed for evacuation early this morning.

On arrival, she said the returnees would be profiled and given stipend in the form of transport fares to their final destinations.

She further stated that the government had mobilised the Bank of Industry to work out skills acquisition and other social intervention programmes for interested returnees.

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BREAKING: Buhari ‘Eminently’ Qualified To Contest Election –Tribunal

mer, 2019-09-11 17:06

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has said that the certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari with the Nigerian Military was higher than a secondary school certificate and therefore he was ‘eminently’ qualified to contest for the position of Nigeria’s President.

Details later.

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Racism And Xenophobia: Echoes From South Africa In A Troubled Continent By Erasmus Ikhide

mer, 2019-09-11 17:01

Those, who are still hoping that the African continent might someday reinvent itself for the better are at best hallucinating, at worst living in the world that's out of it. Africa has remained a basket case and no amount of outward buck-passing on "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" can change the self-afflicted tragedy the continent had visited upon itself long after independence.

Even at that, the two countries in Africa – Ethiopia and Liberia – that were never colonised are devoid of provable positive indicators to suggest that the African continent shouldn't have been colonised in the first place. It defeats the narrow argument of those, who insist African problems originated from the eruption of modern civilisation and disruption of original African political system.

The colonialists never tempered with Africans' NDA or uprooted the seed of uprightness from the African man. Neither did they plant intrinsic seed of fraud, tyrant, hatred or ethnocentrism among the black race. Even if they did, what stops African leaders from shaking off the shackles of animalism and embrace rectitude and free spirit?  

That the continent had failed itself woefully couldn't put a lie to former South African apartheid Prime Minister, Pieter Willem Botha's (1988) summation that "Black people can't rule themselves because they don't have brains and mental capacity to govern a society. Give them guns, they would kill themselves. Give them power, they would steal all the government money. Give them independence and democracy, they will use it to promote tribalism, ethnicity, bigotry, hatred, killing and wars".

Botha's incendiary is at the heart of blighted leadership and citizens' blindness that have cumulatively resulted to uncanny human carnage, wanton destruction, savagery and barbarity across the swathe of the continent. A continent that fails to educate her people about its own ancestral history, the shared values and vision, collective contribution to human solidarity in time of trials and stardom cannot lay claim to civilisation or humanity. The continent and her people merely replaced and supplanted animal and elevates barbarity at the summit.

The tragedy of the crisis is the burying of the heads tactic adopted by African political leaders and governments by either outrightly claiming that the crisis of xenophobia is a criminal attack or coincidence of reprisal attacks against foreign nationals for drugs peddling. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, South Africa’s Defence Minister, two weeks ago said the attacks against foreigners including Nigerians in South Africa were planned by criminals and that government can’t prevent it after describing South Africa as an angry nation. She insisted that the government can’t prevent the ongoing violence.

“The reality is that we have an angry nation. What’s happening can never be prevented by any government. People are saying some heads of state decided not to attend the World Economic Forum; we should be talking about why this whole thing is coinciding with that. People are saying it is xenophobic attacks but it is not the first time, we have had them in the past.

“We have criminals that have read the situation and are aware that we have challenges right now. We have talked on the issues of high rate of unemployment, of some foreign nationals who are not conducting themselves in an appropriate manner as we would expect, those breaking the bylaws of the country, and you now have criminal elements who have decided that we are going to use all of those things to find reasons to attack people", Nosiviwe said.

South Africa’s Minister of Defence truthfully stated the fact that South African successive governments, including the present government under which she's serving, have failed to curtail the phenomenon of xenophobic attacks against other Africans that dates back to 1994, which eventually resurfaced in 2008, 2015 and from then on to the current climatic tipping point of dehumanising proportion.

What that suggests is that all the African countries and the legions of organisations like the African Union have decidedly and/or collectively failed abysmally. The worse of the pack is the Nigerian state under the very fragile, deleterious, bigotry President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President has long placed premium on cattle over human. His obsession for cattle and his militia Fulani terrorists prompted him to release several billions of naira to build thousands of two/three bedroom flats for the Fulani aggressors across the country while victims of their attack in Benue, Taraba and Plateau states and the rest of Nigerians are depraved of access to basic food in all the internally displaced persons camps!

How can anyone explains Buhari's disclosure that Nigerians, who are victims of xenophobia attacks in South Africa must return home and accept N10,000 on arrival via TraderMoniwithout air-lifting them in the first place while his terrorists ethnic militia brother are benefiting from oil and tax money which they never contributed to? 

To start with, from available records, Hausa, Fulani are not among those Nigerians slaughtered in those attacks. The killing is in order for President Buhari and his minders since cattle and Fulani herdsmen are not involved. What's more? After all, Buhari’s regime has killed more Nigerians extra-judicially with the deployment of military called operation crocodile or snake dancers to kill harmless Indigenous Peoples of Biafra members in Eastern Nigeria.

Beside, Buhari is not qualified to now answer the name president having abdicated his constitutional obligation to protect life and property as spelt out by the Nigerian constitution. Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani militias and armed bandits have been unleashing terror on the country, including his home state of Katsina where half of the local government areas have been taken over by bandits and kidnappers, killing Nigerians regularly.

South Africa, her notorious government and people would have by now resolved the evil of xenophobia if Nigeria was a country with a solid governance structure in place and an organic president at the saddle to pilot the institutions to assert its vicissitudes as the giant of Africa.

The African continent will remain a basket case until the mass of the Nigerian people and the rest of the oppressed across the continent stand up and resist wayward leadership, mindless dictatorship and tyrannical bigots and brain-dead presidents., Twitter: @ikhide_erasmus1

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Air Peace Commences Evacuation of Nigerians From South Africa

mer, 2019-09-11 16:34

Air Peace on Wednesday commenced the evacuation of at least 84 Nigerians from South Africa.

The Nigerians had been cleared by the immigration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to journalists on Wednesday.

The ministry said that out of 313 Nigerians confirmed for the first batch for evacuation today, 84 of them had so far been cleared and are expected to arrive Nigeria at 2:00pm local time.

It said, “The Air Peace aircraft which was scheduled to take off at 9:00am local time was delayed due to the fact that clearance procedures by immigration are usually very slow.

“Out of the 313 confirmed for the first batch for evacuation today, only 84 are cleared so far.

“The more the aircraft waits for the passengers, the higher the amount it will pay for parking.”

Many of those voluntarily returning to Nigeria following fresh xenophobic attacks in South Africa, arrived the Nigerian Embassy as early as 4:00am to join buses ferrying them to the airport.

According to the ministry, 640 Nigerians have indicated their desire to return from South Africa and had registered to do so, adding that the second batch would depart Johannesburg for Nigeria on Friday.

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Atiku Not A Cameroonian, Tribunal Tells APC As Petition Is Dismissed

mer, 2019-09-11 15:39

The Presidential Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday struck out the application of the All Progressives Congress accusing the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, of being a Cameroonian.

Justice Garba Mohammed warned the APC not to divert the attention of the court because Atiku was qualified to contest the February 2019 presidential election being a Nigerian.

The judge said that the former Vice President of Nigeria was not from the Northern part of Cameroon as claimed by the APC.

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BREAKING: Atiku 0, Buhari 1 As Tribunal Dismisses PDP Motion Against Osinbajo Vote-buying Using Tradermoni

mer, 2019-09-11 14:58

Breaking News

Breaking News Sahara Reporters Media

The presidential election petitions tribunal has dismissed the application of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, accusing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of inducing voters with the TraderMoni scheme.

The tribunal held that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter. 

It also noted that Osinbajo was not a party in the suit.  

The court, therefore, dismissed the application in favour of the second respondent, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The PDP had raised the alarm a few weeks to the conduct of the presidential election over the sharing of N10,000 by Osinbajo to the market women. 

The party had accused the ruling party of vote-buying.

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Akwa Ibom Community Protests Against Oil Companies, NPDC, SEEPCO

mer, 2019-09-11 14:51

Vanguard Newspaper

The people of Iko community, Eastern Obolo local government area, Akwa Ibom State, Tuesday embarked on a mass protest against Sterling Energy Exploration and Production Company Nigerian Limited, (SEEPCO) and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, (NPDC) over alleged ill treatment by the companies.

The protesters vowed to use all legal means to resist attempts by SEEPCO to shortchange them by preventing NPDC from having a direct negotiation and agreement with the community on all issues relating to the operations of the company in Utapate oil and gas field development project in the OML 13.

The community accused the company of using divide and rule tactics to cause problems in the area, insisting that the firm must carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment and respect their right to a GMoU.

A human rights activist, Akpor Mudiaga-Odje, told journalists: "SEEPCO are now in the process of operating in full, OML 13, which is substantially located within the precincts and boundaries of our clients Iko community.

"The Iko community hosts the largest oil fields, that is, Utapate oil fields and a flow-station in the OML 13 cluster arrangements as established by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC."

He added, "The issues at stake in this context are truly located within the present intention of Sterling Energy Exploration and Production Company Nigeria Limited to commence work with a view of operating OML 13 owned by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC. 

"President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously approved the commencement of operation of OML 13 with a view of raising the national crude oil output to 3,000,000 barrels per day by April, 2020. The above was sequel to the payment of the sum of $3.15 billion by SEEPCO and NPDC for the operation of the OML 13."

Continuing, Mudiaga-Odje said, "Needless to accentuate that, the Iko community hosts the largest oil fields, that is Utapate oil fields and a flow-station in the OML 13 cluster arrangements as established by NPDC. Our clients had expected that the state government, local council, SEEPCO and Naturals Oil Services Limited, NOSL will directly interface with the Iko community on these issues and more, as duly represented by our clients.

"To our clients' chagrin and utter dismay, SEEPCO decided on the contrary to set up a committee for that purpose, and which said Committee does not represent in its true sense the interests of our clients, Iko Community. Our clients have therefore resolved unequivocally and unanimously to henceforth deal directly with NPDC on this matter of the operations of OML 13 as they have completely lost faith in the sincerity of SEEPCO and NOSL on this Issue."

When contacted, managements of both companies declined to talk as of the time of filing this report.

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We Cannot Stop Killing Nigerians! By Femi Fani-Kayode

mer, 2019-09-11 14:32

"We cannot stop the xenophobic attacks. The truth is that we are an angry nation. What is happening cannot be prevented by any Government."- Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence, South Africa. 

Yet another insulting, provocative and irresponsible statement from a senior figure in the South African Government. 

First, it was their Minister of Police who said that in some towns in South Africa the population was 80% foreign and that they could not take it anymore. 

Then it was their Minister of Foreign Affairs who said that Nigerians were drug-dealers and human traffickers and that they should be prevented from coming to South Africa. 

Then it was their former President, Thabo Mbeki, who said that "Nigerian criminals" were the targets of the xenophobia.

And now it is their Minister of Defence who says they cannot stop these xenophobic attacks. 

If anyone still thinks that the ruling ANC party, the South African Government and President Cyril Ramaphosa himself are not complicit in this matter then that person is plain dumb. 

I doubt they would try this if President Shehu Shagari, President Olusegun Obasanjo or President Goodluck Jonathan were still President or if General Murtala Mohammed, General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida or General Sani Abacha were still Head of State. 

My question for them is as follows: just how much more Nigerian blood do you need to spill before you can stop? 

How many more of our poor, hardworking, defenceless citizens and compatriots whose only crime was to leave home and go and invest in your country do you have to cut down, butcher and slaughter before your macabre and evil blood-lust is satisfied and before your rage, anger and burning self-hate subsides? 

The truth is that you are a wicked, cruel, heartless, ungrateful and murderous lot.

And despite the appeals for restraint and admonitions from the entire civilized world, you hacked to pieces two more Nigerians in the streets of Johannesburg just yesterday. 

Why am I not surprised? It is only when the father of a house is weak that strangers beat his children and treat them like filth.

It is only when the President of a nation is a coward that foreigners butcher his people and slaughter them like flies.

Yet I have some advice for you. As you march down the streets and prepare to attack and kill even more of our people, you would do well to remember the following. 

Even though we may be badly divided amongst ourselves and even though we may have a weak, conflicted, delusional and incompetent President who himself is a tyrant, who is cowardly in all his ways, who has lost touch with reality, who is intellectually-challenged and who is running scared of leading us to war even in the face of the greatest insults, provocation, and aggression, the Nigerian people are still the toughest, the strongest, the proudest, the most resilient,  the most brilliant, the most feared, the most innovative, the most enduring, the most respected, the most enterprising, the most educated, the most competitive, the most forceful, the most irrepressible, the most unbeatable, the most dynamic, the most vigorous, the most bellicose and the most combative people on the African continent. 

Mountains shake and move before us and the earth cracks open and shakes. We thrive even in the most difficult circumstances where others tremble and fall.

When we fight, we fight hard and, if we must die, we die like men. We are not cowards, we are not shirkers, we are not lily-livered beggars and we are not toothless barking dogs: we are lions and we are warriors! 

When we go to war we do not stop until our enemies are no longer standing. When we fight we see our enemies as nothing but filthy worms and we crush them below our feet. 

We decimated your white Boer masters in the killing grounds and battlefields of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique when you were still their slaves.

We fought them and their surrogates in the field of battle for your sake and in the end, we prevailed and you gained your freedom. 

I put it to you that even an economically-weakened and badly divided Nigeria under a discredited and sectional ethnic bigot like Buhari will eat you for breakfast if and when it comes to a full-scale military conflict between our two countries. 

Forget all the media hype and public relations: you are not in our league. You have never been and you will never be. A black slave army, trained and led by resentful and racist white officers such as yours, with little experience of battle and warfare has little chance before us. 

Fighting and soldiering is not just about military hardware but it is about the heart and the spirit. It is not about the size of the dog in the fight but about the size of the fight in the dog. 

We are veterans of warfare. We fight with strength, faith, and passion in the knowledge that our cause is just and that we are a nation of true believers who God loves and cherishes.

Nigerian blood is not cheap and the shedding of it by foreigners attracts a heavy price. You shall pay that price. 

To the Nigerian people and government, I say we mobilize our people and Armed Forces, prepare for war and get ready to teach the South African cowards and bullies the lesson of their lives. 

By the time this is all over they will  be seeing stars. By the time it comes to an end they will bow their heads in shame, they will be stripped naked before the world, they will tuck their tails between their legs, they will wish their Boer masters were still with them, they will surrender their shieds and spears, they will stop their Zulu songs and instead, for the rest of their sorry and miserable lives, they will be singing in Swahili!

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Femi Fani-Kayode Disable advertisements : 

9/11 And Misconception Of The Religion Of Peace By Hannatu Musawa

mer, 2019-09-11 14:27

On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 when four passenger jets were hijacked and intentionally crashed in the United States of America, killing nearly 3,000 people, many knew that it was the start of a dark era in the stability of the world order. However, few would have imagined eighteen years on, the effects of that fateful day would continue to be felt around the world in such the raw manner that it is being felt.

Apart from all the talk of terror and war associated with that day, the one common feature has been a castigation of Islam as the catalyst for the atmosphere of violence. In the last couple of weeks since the countdown to the 18 year anniversary began, I have felt the need for those of us who understand the misconceptions that are associated with religious extremism and violence to set forth the teachings of Islam so that expressions of numerous acts of violence are fully exposed for what they are in the light of Islamic teachings.

As a Muslim, I am saddened when I hear people attribute the kind of violence we are witnessing in this age to Islamic teaching. I become frustrated because, even though, I know that Islam doesn’t in any way encourage people to kill innocent civilians and engage in suicide bombings, I understand that there are these misconceptions because some of the people who engage in these violent activities use Islam as a shelter to commit them and their extreme interpretation of Islam as their justification. Every year as I mark the anniversary of 9/11, I always find myself elaborating on my understanding of the position of Islam on the kind of violence we witnessed on 9/11 and other similar acts of violence.

It is regrettable that Islam, a religion of peace, hope, harmony, goodwill, and brotherhood has been used to justify unwarranted acts of violence such as suicide bombings and hostage-taking. I know that at the very base of Islam is the quest for freedom, justice, and equality so when a Muslim condemns another because they do not share the same faith, that discrimination is totally foreign to the teachings and doctrines of Islam. 

In the Quran, God bestowed honor on every single individual, no matter their background, race or tribe. Liberty and everything that emerges from it are some of the great favors God has given us and concepts such as kidnappings and assassinations are alien to Islam. Under the Islamic dispensation, a person should not be held captive as a prisoner against their will. Prisoners can only be taken in the event of acknowledged war and not for any other reason or under any other pretext. The Holy Quran specifically states:

“It does not behoove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. If you take captives, except in regular fighting, you will be regarded as desiring the goods of this world, while ALLAH desires for you the Hereafter. And ALLAH is Mighty, Wise.”

This verse negates any validation of hostage-taking and hijacking of innocent people not involved in actual combat. Furthermore, in his farewell address, the Holy Prophet of Islam gave special instructions regarding good treatment which should be meted out to prisoners. The Holy Prophet said:

“O men, you still have in your possession some prisoners of war. I advise you, therefore, to feed them and to clothe them in the same way and style as you feed and clothe yourselves... To give them pain or trouble can never be tolerated”.

One of the most controversial terms that are used to lend credibility to the notion that Islam encourages violence is the concept of jihad. Owing to the performance of some influence, the media envisages an incorrect perception of Jihad.

The word Jihad brings into play the vision of a marching band of religious fanatics with savage beards, short trousers, and fiery eyes, brandishing swords, screaming in Arabic and attacking those that are not Muslims.

However, the true spirit of Jihad in Islamic terms means to endeavor and strive in a noble way. Over time this meaning of Jihad has been eradicated or at least diluted. The critical juncture in the Islamic world requires reviving and recapturing the true and pristine meaning of Jihad. 

Jihad can be divided into two broad categories. First is Jihad-e-akbar. This is Jihad against one's own person to curb sinful inclinations, which is the purification of self. This is the most difficult Jihad and hence in terms of rewards and blessings is the highest category of Jihad.

The second is Jihad-e-asghar. This is Jihad of the sword. This is communal Jihad and presupposes certain specific conditions. The Quran speaks of fighting only as a self-defence and this is the very condition laid down in other verses of the Holy Quran as well. The so-called verse of the sword in the Islamic scripture is often taken out of context as if it inculcates an indiscriminate massacre of all non-Muslims. The Quranic words such as “kill whatever you find them” apply only in cases of self-defence. They do not apply to unprovoked wars and battles. The Muslims who interpret these verses in any other manner commit a travesty of the lofty ideals of Islam. There is not a single instance in the life of the Holy Prophet where he offered the alternative of the sword or Islam to anyone.

It must be remembered that the Holy Quran does not make Jihad, in the context of an article of faith. The sayings and traditions of the Holy Prophet render it into a formula for an active struggle that invariably and incorrectly tended towards a militant expression.

Suicide bombings, hijacking and killing those of alternative and different faiths is contrary to the purview of the real spirit of the Islamic Jihad. The presentation of Islam as a crude and barbaric religion which gives itself the right to cause unwarranted human and material suffering and destruction under the guise of Divine authority is not the kind of Islam we find in the Holy Quran and in the precepts of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Among the attributes of God, the Holy Quran mentions that “He is the Source of peace and the bestower of security”. The establishment of peace and maintenance of security must, therefore, be the constant objective of all Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Every pursuit and activity, which disturbs peace is severely condemned in Islam. We find specific injunctions in the Holy Quran: “…And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order....” Mischief and wickedness are condemned in several other verses and Muslims are commanded to work wholly for peace.”

The Holy Quran teaches that God has sent His revelation to all people from time to time. Many of prophets of the Old Testament are mentioned by name and so is Jesus Christ, who with other prophets is honored and revered by all Muslims.

Indeed, the Quran requires belief in the truth of all the Messengers of God and requires an affirmation in all Prophets wherever they appeared and therefore it seeks to bring about reconciliation between the followers of different faiths and to establish a basis of respect and honor among them.

The Quran says: “Surely, those who believe… and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians - whichever party from among these truly believes in ALLAH and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon then nor shall they grieve.”

The basic unity of the followers of all faiths is emphatically stressed in the Holy Quran and the creation of discord and disunity by terrorism or otherwise has no place in Islam. Islam is an all-encompassing codes of values and conduct and with those values, those of us that practice it must use its teachings as a ground of hope to progressively promote unity and accord in Nigeria and all over the World, rather than using it as a justification for violence.

I believe that the world should always remember the 9/11 crisis and the tragedies and wars that fell in its aftermath and that memory should serve as a lesson for the innocence that the world lost on that day.

Regardless of the religion one is, only through conformity to the spirit of peace, unity, freedom, conscience and the promotion of human welfare can we achieve the ideal of a secure World and nation free of hatred and violence.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were lost and affected on that fateful September 11th day, eighteen years ago, and all those who continue to be affected by the misconception of what the Religion of Peace truly preaches.

Hannatu Musawa
I invite you to:
Follow me on Twitter- @hanneymusawa

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Hannatu Musawa Disable advertisements :